Tough Economic Times Means Everyone Lends a Helping Hand

According to a study conducted by American Express OPEN in February and March of this year, seventy percent of small business owners and entrepreneurs indicated that they sell and purchase goods and services from other small businesses in order to help everyone survive and prosper.

The survey also revealed that over ninety percent of the respondents actively support their communities and neighborhoods and are committed to contributing to local causes and taking part in local events, activities, and projects. According to Alice Breedin, a consultant for American Express OPEN, many small business owners know that their own success is connected to the success of other business, and this culture of mutual support can make a difference in survival. It has been particularly important during the past economic downturn.

This “we’re all in this together” belief goes beyond being a pragmatic expedient. Almost 85 percent of the respondents indicated that they prefer to shop at and patronize independently-owned businesses in their community when making purchases not directly related to their business – a strong indicator of the belief in the importance of mutual support when it comes to local economic health.

Because most small business owners know that surviving can come down to one or two sales, it does not look like this attitude of mutual support is going to change. “When you’ve seen people you know go out of business, you just don’t forget that,” says Ms Breedin. “For many people it will be a permanent shift.”


Munk, Cheryl Winokur. “Survey: Small Business Owners Band Together During Economic Struggles.” April 25, 2013.